Late Cheltenham News

March 11th, 2016 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

Hi there

I picked up a few snippets of news from working on the panel of the Cheltenham Preview evening at Cartmel racecourse last night.

The most interesting came from Jimmy Moffatt, who said that Brian Hughes told him that Hawk High – the horse I gave favourable mention to earlier in the week – may be equipped with blinkers or a visor for the County Hurdle. He has worn sheepskin cheekpieces before on many occasions.

Doctor Harper, the horse that interests me in his chosen engagement, has been declared for the Ultima Handicap Chase on Tuesday and the Kim Muir for amateurs on Thursday. He would probably start first or second favourite to win the latter, for which the big word last night was Cause Of Causes.

I received a favourable message for Javert, my selection for Tuesday’s Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap, from an owner in Emma Lavelle’s yard. The horse has been working well and Sean Bowen retains the ride.

The Coral Handicap Hurdle is always very competitive and another horse to add to thelist is Sgt Reckless, who ran so well under a shocking ride when fourth in the 2014 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle to Vautour. He has only run twice this season, once over fences, but the strong pace and good ground could suit him. Given my past close association with the horse I am going to have to give him a mention at least. He is also in the County Hurdle and the Martin Pipe Conditional.

There was also a favourable word for Nicky Henderson’s Laurium, who is in both the Coral Cup and the Martin Pipe Conditional.

Jimmy Moffatt has been speaking to Tom Scudamore at Carlisle on Thursday afternoon, who told him that Dynaste was overpriced for the Ryanair at about 20/1. Taquin Du Seuil has been supplemented for the race today. Vautour has also been left in.

As expected Annie Power’s name does not figure among the 18 horses left in the World Hurdle. More Of That has not been declared for the JLT, with the RSA the expected target. One source told me today that the horse had not been working well at home.

Henry Brooke, who was on last night’s panel, had a good word for Red Spinner in either the Brown Advisory Plate or the Grand Annual. Regarding the latter race Tom Scudamore confirmed that Next Sensation had come right at home and was fancied to repeat last year’s success.

Other news and I understand that Bryan Cooper will ride Don Poli in the Gold Cup, leaving Davy Russell to take the mount on Don Cossack.

Bye for now